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Layers

The demand for eggs is steadily increasing year after year. To meet market demand, layer farms must produce more efficiently while using fewer resources. Layer farms face many challenges, from keeping the flock healthy, to good management practices that reduce costs and increase profitability, all while ensuring a high-quality standards final product.

Performance and production efficiency

Production efficiency is achieved when the animal reaches a high level of performance and feed intake while maintaining good health. Feed alone accounts for most of a livestock farmer’s total costs. Optimise your investment in layer hens by ensuring efficient intake of nutrients that translate to robust egg production, good health and enhanced overall productivity.

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Enhancing feed and water management

The nutritional quality, safety and delivery of feed in the optimal form are crucial to supporting a healthy and regulated feed intake. Equally important is ensuring excellent microbial and chemical quality in water, representing the largest component of the layer’s consumption. Water plays a key role in egg composition, thermoregulation and as a carrier for additives.

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Antimicrobial resistance

Reducing reliance on antimicrobial agents is essential to successfully tackling the challenge of antimicrobial resistance. Limiting the use of antibiotics allows them to remain effective when needed to support both layer and human health.

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Related stories

Nutritional Dietary Supplements to Reduce the Incidence of Fatty Liver Syndrome in Laying Hens and the Use of Spectrophotometry to Predict Liver Fat Content

Poultry
Fatty liver syndrome (FLS) in laying hens is a metabolic disease that can potentially reduce egg production while compromising the health status of the bird. This study assessed the combined use of B vitamins via the feed (FLS-MIX) or the drinking water (FLS-LIQ) to reduce FLS and the use of spectrophotometry to estimate liver fat content. Individually, caged Hy-line brown hens (n = 288) underwent a pre-experimental period (from week 66 to 67, both included) receiving a Standard diet or a Challenge diet (high energy–low protein) to nutritionally induce the FLS. Subsequently, hens followed a 2 diets (Standard; Challenge) × 3 dietary supplements (NONE; FLS-MIX; and FLS-LIQ) factorial arrangement of treatments from 68 to 73 wk old, both included. Compared to the Standard, the Challenge diet increased liver fat (188 vs. 270 g/kg DM) and reduced feed consumption, lay percentage, and egg mass production (P < 0.05). No differences in lay performance or eggshell quality were observed among dietary supplements; however, FLS-MIX significantly increased (P < 0.05) feed intake relative to NONE. On birds subjected to the Challenge diet, the use of FLS-MIX and FLS-LIQ led to lower (P < 0.05) liver fat relative to NONE. Regression analysis between the L, a+, and b+ values and liver fat content provided significant (P < 0.001) regression equations to estimate liver fat content (R2 = 0.62). Results of this study suggest that B vitamin supplements could be an effective means to reduce liver fat deposition when hens are susceptible of suffering FLS, and that spectrometry could be a reliable tool to estimate liver fat content.
by A. Navarro-Villa on 09.12.2019
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Modeling of livestock systems to enhance efficiency

Across species
By 2050, an estimated nine billion people will live on the planet. In order to feed the planet, we will need to increase food production dramatically. In parallel, the demands for animal products will surge, especially in emerging markets. In response, animal production systems must enhance efficiency at multiple levels in the face of many challenges, including a scarcity of resources, volatility in commodity prices, public concerns over food safety and animal welfare, antibiotic resistance, pressures to decrease pollution, and protect biodiversity. To be successful, animal production systems will need innovation that supports efficiency and sustainability.
by L. McKnight on 08.04.2019
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